Yesterday, CNN reporter Sara Sidner filed a report about the impact of the Covid on people, in particular, blacks and Hispanics in Los Angeles. The report was on a family that lost both parents over an eleven-day span and had a funeral in a parking lot. At the end of the report, she broke down.
In the same city, Bruce Willis was asked to pull up the bandana that he had on while inside a Rite Aid. He refused, choosing instead to leave and not make his purchase.
Across the country, several members of the House of Representatives–all of them Republicans–refused to wear a mask, too. To absolutely no one’s surprise, several members are now positive for the Covid.
The contrast couldn’t be clearer.
Willis is well-to-do, and could easily go the rest of the pandemic without having to work. Sidner’s report was about an area in Los Angeles that’s underserved, houses people whose work generally can’t be skipped, or done at home, and who are facing much higher death tolls than typical as a result of the pandemic.
The Republican representatives are amazingly tone deaf–at the very least.
Odds are very high that you and I don’t know what it’s like in Covid ICUs, or to go to work each day in an area that puts you hip-deep in a disease that could kill you, exactly as it’s killing the people you care for. We don’t know what it’s like to have to show up day after day to a job where you’re overburdened, vastly underresourced, and where death shows up that frequently.
It’s a near certainty that mental health issues for those who care for Covid patients will be a pandemic after the pandemic.
Some may consider Sara Sidner’s meltdown unprofessional–drama for its own sake.
Given what’s happening in the world today, her reaction is not only professional, it helps bring home the emotional impact of a story most of us can only imagine.
On the other hand, Bruce Willis’s reaction shows what happens when you don’t consider things you haven’t personally experienced. It’s selfish and tone deaf and adds risk to someone whose job requires them to face elevated risk for very little money.
It’s the type of job he might’ve had to work while he was trying to start his career.
Given that it’s January 2021, there’s no looking at this outside politics. To a lot of people who consider themselves conservative, anyone paid by CNN is liberal. Willis is likely conservative and the House Republicans definitely are.
Based on those two brief slices of life, I’d much rather see the world through Sara Sidner’s eyes than Bruce Willis’s.